Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Knock, knock...
I think I've blogged before on my dissatisfaction with my current employment situation. To recap, I hate my job. I like the paychecks and health insurance, but other than that it leaves quite a bit to be desired. The problem is that I have no clear idea of what I'd rather be doing. Well, I do have one idea, but I'm not sure it's realistic. I'd really like to be on the injured reserve for the Portland Trailblazers (or any team that would take me). That way I'd get to go to a bunch of NBA games, sit courtside, travel all over the country, and get paid a lot. But unless the Blazers call me, I'm not sure what else to do.

What complicates things is that I think I feel God pulling at me. I'm feeling very strongly that I need to go to seminary. But I'm not sure what God wants me to do after that. I'm not sure I want to be a full time pastor. I think my skills might lie elsewhere. Right now my dream is to go to the Iliff School of Theology, get my M.Div, and then get my Ph.D. at the Iliff/University of Denver joint Ph.D. program in Religious and Theological Studies. Is this realistic? Is this part of God's call? I'm not sure.

The complicated thing, it seems to me, when you’re talking about "call" is that it is incredibly difficult to separate out our desires from what God wants of us. Am I just thinking about seminary because I'd do anything to get away from my current job? In the past I've also thought about getting my MBA, finishing my Ph.D. in Urban Studies, transferring to the Ph.D. program in Public Administration, and getting a Master of Science in Management of Information Technology. I'll freely admit that I've been all over the place.

So do I want to be minister and I'm just telling myself that it's really God that wants it? Or is God really calling me to ordained ministry? I don't know, but I'm going to think about it and pray about it and hope it becomes clearer.

What I'm looking for professional (and spiritually) is meaning. While I'm not enriching some godless, heartless corporation (or myself, for that matter) I don't get a lot of satisfaction out of my work. I work as a financial analyst for a local government in Oregon and while I can tell myself that because of what I do we have police and firefighters on the street, a great park system, and two libraries – I don't actually do any of those things. I make spreadsheets. I help prepare financial reports that no one ever reads and budgets that are out of the date the moment they are printed. If I got hit by a bus, there would still be police and firefighters, parks and libraries.

I know that I can make a difference through church and through volunteer activities. I'm just not sure that I can be happy spending the bulk of my professional life doing meaningless work. I want to do something that makes a difference in people's lives. I want to advance God's kingdom and share the good news of the grace that has transformed my life. Do I do that through ordained ministry? I'm not sure.



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